Amid the hustle and bustle that surrounds the hours leading up to the July 31st trade deadline, the Indians and Cardinals got together quietly on Monday night, exchanging recently demoted left-hander Marc Rzepczynski for minor league infielder Juan Herrera.
And the entire city shrugs, asking “Who?”
It’s a nice little move for GM Chris Antonetti as the Tribe’s bullpen has faltered at several points in the season, particularly with the trio of southpaws – Rich Hill, who admittedly has pitched much of late, Nick Hagadone, and Scott Barnes – the club has trotted out to the mound throughout the season.
For his part, though, Rzepczynski pretty much falls into the same category: a serviceable, yet replaceable lefty who has missed some bats throughout his career (8.1 K/9), but has always been plagued with some problematic control (3.9 BB/9). He does generate a bunch of action on the ground, so that wonky homerun rate in 2012 (25% HR/FB) should prove to be nothing more than a blip on the screen.
He’s taken the roster place of the recently demoted Vinnie Pestano.
As history has repeatedly shown, especially around this time of year, decent or better bullpens can be cobbled together. And the Indians are merely throwing as much spaghetti against the wall as possible, hoping some of it sticks.
As for the recently departed prospect, Juan Herrera, he’s minor league fodder: good walk rates, some speed, no power, and is playing against younger competition.
Photo of Marc Rzepczynski Courtesy of CBSSports.com